COVID-19 Update - The ABPN has been actively monitoring the events and circumstances surrounding the spread of COVID-19…

Policy for Applicants with Disabilities

The Board recognizes that physicians with disabilities may wish to take the examinations and will attempt to make accommodations for applicants with verified disabilities. The Board supports the intent of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and amendments thereto. The Board will provide reasonable accommodations during testing to provide equal opportunity for persons with disabilities. Applicants are reminded that modifications, accommodations, auxiliary aids and/or services can only be offered if they do not “fundamentally alter the measurement of the skills or knowledge the examination is intended to test” (28 C.F.R. §36.309(b)(3)).

Any applicant who requests accommodations because of a disability must advise the Board electronically or in writing no later than the deadline for submitting applications for examination.

All items must be submitted to the Board no later than 30 days after the application deadline regardless of previous requests and/or granted accommodations:

  • An Application for Testing Accommodations pdf form,
  • All appropriate checklists,
  • All documentation, and
  • All other evidence substantiating the disability.

Candidates applying for an initial certification or MOC examination must use ABPN Physician Portal and must check the on-screen Testing Accommodations box to notify the Board of the accommodations request. On the receipt, candidates will be given a link to the Application for Testing Accommodations form to download and print.

If the Board deems it necessary, an independent assessment may be requested at the expense of the Board.

Documentation and other evidence substantiating the disability includes but is not limited to each of the following:

    • A letter and/or report by a qualified professional who has made an individualized assessment of the applicant diagnosing the applicant’s disability and identifying one or more major life activities that the disability substantially limits, including, but not limited to, hearing, seeing, breathing, performing manual tasks, caring for oneself, and/or learning (reading and writing). The diagnosis must be printed on the qualified professional’s letterhead, with the qualified professional’s credentials, address, and telephone number. The diagnosis must include the candidate’s name, date of birth, and date of evaluation, and it must be signed by the qualified professional.
    • A history of the disability, including previous settings in which accommodations have been granted. If there is no history of prior accommodations, the examiner must explain why current circumstances necessitate accommodations.
    • Diagnostic information about the specified disability using standard nomenclature from sources such as the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) and the APA’s DSM-IV-TR or DSM-5.
    • Specific recommended accommodations with a rationale for why each accommodation is needed. A description of any functional limitations associated with the disability is helpful to the Board’s evaluation of the request.

Review of Documentation

A letter detailing the specific accommodations requested because of a disability must be submitted for each examination and/or reexamination. Documentation should be marked “ADA Materials” and mailed to the attention of the President and CEO at the Board office.

Each application is reviewed carefully before accommodations are provided. If the Board does not find appropriate and sufficient evidence to grant accommodations, the applicant will be informed and be given a reasonable opportunity to supplement their request with additional information.

Any applicant who is denied accommodations may appeal this decision by submitting the following materials to the attention of the President and CEO at the Board office:

  • A written request for a formal appeal of the denial of accommodations
  • The applicable appeal fee
  • Additional written information in support of the appeal

The appeal materials must be sent together in a single mailing that is postmarked within 30 days of the date indicated on the letter of denial of accommodations. The appeal materials will be sent to the respective Appeals Committee, which will review the materials, deliberate, and make a determination. In all events, the Appeal Committee’s determination is final and binding on both the Board and the applicant.